Veneers have become an essential accessory for influencers, and their popularity continues to grow by leaps and bounds. If you are considering this wildly popular treatment, how do you choose the best type of veneer for you?
There are several options available ranging from porcelain to composite, traditional to no-prep, and permanent to temporary. This article provides the information necessary for you to make an informed decision. Make sure to also watch the video for a good overview of which type of dental veneers is best overall.
What Is the Best Type of Veneers?
If you’re considering dental veneers, here is a breakdown of your options ranked in order from best to worst:
Porcelain veneers: More costly but unparalleled in quality.
Lumineers: Not as durable as traditional porcelain veneers, but still better than most alternatives.
Indirect composite veneers: Similar to porcelain veneers in their design and placement, but not as durable, long-lasting, or natural-looking.
Direct composite veneers: Another quick and minimally invasive option, but may only last 2 to 5 years in some cases.
Temporary veneers: Just say no—except for short-term or occasional use.
Whether you’re looking to correct crooked teeth, abnormally shaped teeth, or stained teeth, it’s important to recognize what sets the various types of veneers apart.
Best Veneer Material
If you opt for traditional veneers, you’ll have to decide between two primary materials: porcelain and composite. Porcelain veneers are the best option because of their superior look, durability, and longevity. But let’s consider the two materials side by side.
Made from thin porcelain shells that are placed over the teeth
Can last 15 to 20 years with proper care
A thin layer of tooth shaving (about .5mm) is usually required) as part of the veneer treatment
Look almost identical to natural tooth enamel
Must be replaced if chipped or cracked (though this is rare, as porcelain veneers are extremely durable)
Can be completed in 2 to 3 appointments
Costs $925 to $2,500 per tooth based on industry averages
Composite Resin Veneers
Made from a combination of resin, fillers, and a coupling agent
Can last 2 to 5 years on average
Tooth shaving is not always required
Look similar to natural tooth enamel
Can stain over time, especially if teeth aren’t properly cared for
Can sometimes be repaired if chipped or cracked
Can be completed in 1 to 2 appointments
Costs $250 to $1,500 per tooth based on industry averages
It’s important to note that there are actually two types of composite veneers: direct composite veneers and indirect composite veneers.
Direct composite veneers are made with resin that’s applied directly to the tooth. It’s quick and easy; the whole procedure can often be done in a single appointment. These are especially delicate, though, and require special care.
Indirect composite veneers are made in a manner similar to porcelain veneers; the resin veneer is formed in a lab outside the dentist’s office. The patient then undergoes minimal tooth preparation, and the veneer is applied in a separate appointment.
Indirect composite veneers are more durable than direct composite veneers, but porcelain is the superior option by far.
Traditional vs No-Prep Veneers
Porcelain and composite veneers are examples of traditional veneers, but a new type of cosmetic restoration is also becoming popular: no-prep veneers. This type of veneer has distinct disadvantages over porcelain veneers, but they also have certain merits worth noting.
Lumineers are one of the most popular no prep veneers. They are similar to porcelain veneers in their construction and application: a thin shell is cemented over the natural tooth to conceal cosmetic imperfections.
There are some key differences, though:
Lumineers are much thinner than porcelain and indirect composite veneers, so they can be applied without any tooth shaving (hence the name “no-prep veneers”).
Although Lumineers are made from a type of porcelain (Cerinate), their razor-thin design means they don’t last as long as traditional veneers—Lumineers typically last between 10 and 15 years. Lumineers also crack more easily.
Lumineers are a strong aesthetic choice, but they’re not quite as natural-looking as traditional porcelain veneers.
Lumineers cost between $800 and $2,000 on average—less than porcelain veneers, but often more than composite veneers.
Lumineers are typically recommended for patients who are concerned about the cost or invasiveness of porcelain veneers but who still want a premium-quality product. Traditional porcelain veneers are still the superior option, but Lumineers and other no-prep veneers can be an excellent choice for many patients. See our guide on how Lumineers compare vs traditional veneers.
Permanent vs Temporary Veneers
Traditional and no-prep veneers are examples of permanent veneers (meaning that they can’t be removed once applied by a dentist), but temporary veneers are also becoming increasingly popular.
But while they might seem tempting up front, temporary veneers don’t offer the protection, the durability, or the natural aesthetic that you would get from a professionally applied porcelain or even composite restoration.
Temporary veneers go by many names and are available in an array of styles:
In most cases, a set of temporary veneers will fit over the entire upper or lower jaw as opposed to covering a single tooth. You can find these products on Amazon and elsewhere online, often for as little as $20—the higher-end custom-fit models can often be found in the $200 to $300 range.
In most cases, you would use hot water to soften the plastic and then place the veneers over the teeth. The veneers then harden, providing a firm seal. To remove them, you would just apply more hot water.
This type of clip on veneers should be avoided. While they’re extremely cost-effective and they require no dental procedures, the drawbacks far outweigh any advantages.
Temporary veneers break easily and seldom last more than a couple of years.
Temporary veneers are commonly one-size-fits-all, meaning that they can fit awkwardly, negatively affect speech, and present a bulky, unnatural appearance in the mouth.
Plaque and bacteria can easily get trapped between the veneers and the natural teeth, contributing to tooth decay. Optimal oral hygiene is imperative when you have temporary veneers.
In most cases, temporary veneers must be removed before you eat or before you drink any hot liquids.
Most temporary veneers are made from flimsy plastic and don’t come close to matching the smooth, natural appearance of traditional porcelain veneers.
Temporary veneers are generally advised only as a short-term solution. For example, if you’re being prepped for porcelain veneers, your dentist may provide you with a temporary restoration to wear between your tooth preparation and veneer placement appointments. But these shouldn’t be treated as an all-day or long-term solution. Relying on temporary veneers full-time is like taking a road trip with a spare tire installed.